Coq au Vin Blanc was a regular winter dish in my house when we were growing up. I have distinct memories of it steaming up the kitchen windows while we did our homework on the kitchen table. It's a wonderfully warming meal, perfect for cold evenings. Chicken joints such as thighs and legs are often far cheaper to buy than chicken breasts, and meat cooked on the bone always seems to have more flavour.
This tart is a real lifesaver; it uses solely kitchen staple ingredients and is very easy to assemble. It reminds me of the little tarts I used to make when I first started baking but is a bit more sophisticated and I love the addition of desiccated coconut, which goes well with the jam. You can use whatever jam you have in your store cupboard, all flavours work perfectly.
Chocolate and chilli might sound like an odd combination but sweet and spicy do work together. I first tried the combination in hot chocolate. It’s a subtle heat that you can taste, but instead of dominating the dessert it’s an interesting extra note that adds to the flavour of the chocolate. However, do feel free to leave the chilli out if you prefer. These puds have an oozing liquid chocolate interior and can be made in advance and placed in the fridge until you are ready to bake them.
These little parcels certainly know how to make an entrance. When you serve them, make sure you get your guests to open the parcels themselves, to reveal the steaming mackerel inside. You can use this method with any fish; it’s nice served with a little rice.
From: Kitchen Hero: HomeCooked
When my dad was growing up, my granddad took him and his brothers and sisters to Dublin Zoo on a cold winter's day. They had brought bags of bananas and monkey nuts to feed the monkeys and were throwing the food over the iced enclosure. One stray banana landed on the ice and suddenly the monkeys realised they could walk across the ice, leading them to charge my granddad and his kids, attacking them for the food. Hence the inspiration for this nutty baked Alaska...